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TPG reader Jason has a Hyatt question:
“Is there a way to check Hyatt rewards rooms/suite availability without transferring points (for example, Ultimate Rewards points) to their program? I transferred points into my Hyatt account and then realized the hotel I wanted didn’t have reward availability. I just don’t want to make the same mistake next time.”
Jason made a classic faux pas that everyone in the points game has done at one time or another – to varying levels of severity. He leapt before he looked. Or more accurately, he transferred before he confirmed.
Part of the reason that I love the Ultimate Rewards points that I rack up on my Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold among other Chase cards, is the ability to transfer them to valuable travel partners including Hyatt.
However, Jason brings up one of my biggest quibbles with Hyatt’s Gold Passport program, which is that when you log into your account and you are searching for award nights, if you don’t have enough points in your account to book the night or nights you’re searching for, the system returns the following error:
Instead, you’ll note in the error message that they give you a number to call for Gold Passport Customer Service: 1-866-557-6670. When you call, you have to give them your account info and they’ll see you don’t have enough points to book the award, but they will still search for you and let you know the availability of the properties you want on the dates you want (you may have to explain you’re planning to transfer points, but the agents are used to that).
Then once you’ve confirmed the availability you want, you can simply log into your Ultimate Rewards account and transfer those points. They post instantly, so you might even be able to keep the phone rep on the phone with you while they post and then ask them to book the award for you.
It’s too bad you transferred those points before you knew for sure whether you could use them or not. However, Hyatt is a great hotel program (the only one that didn’t devalue their points last month!) with a lot of great properties around the world, so you should still be able to get use out of those points at some time in the future.
See also: Using Hyatt Points for Room Upgrades